First Ride: Kawasaki Z1000SX - day one gallery & impressions

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Day 1

We’ve had very English weather in the south of France today, with a healthy mix of rain, rain, and more rain following us at all times. But while this might not sound ideal, it's actually been perfect conditions for testing Kawasaki's sports-touring Z1000SX, giving us a great opportunity to test the new IMU-driven traction control system, and giving a graphic demonstration of the bike's weather protection over our 260km test route.

The new model's traction control boasts three modes. Mode 1 and 2 will allow some slip and wheel spin in the wet, but Mode 3 – the most intrusive – has proved invaluable and unflappable all day in the tricky conditions. However hard I tried, it’s proved impossible to get the rear to break traction on the rain lashed shiny roads of the south of France.

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Combine the excellent traction control with the new cornering ABS and you have a very safe bike in these less than clement conditions. Furthermore, you can calm down the power delivery to match the conditions by selecting a lower power mode.

Kawasaki have also increased the size of the fairing (28mm each side) and the manually adjustable screen is 15mm taller, so I’ve had decent weather protection all day.  The new, and more comfortable, seat means that even after a full day in the saddle in poor weather I’m still feeling reasonably fresh, and looking forward to another day of riding tomorrow – hopefully in the dry.

Day 2

Day 2 - Stop off by the sea

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Adam Child

By Adam Child

Former MCN Road Tester with 15 years road testing experience on all kinds of bikes